By Philip Kasekende
Most of us who have grown up under President Museveni’s leadership know how he likes to psychologically manipulate Ugandans the same way a grown person does to a child. As such, it is no coincidence that his most recent invention for referring to the people of Uganda is to use the term “bazukulu,”which is particularly condescending – far from endearing – when some of the audience includes grown people, in which case it reflects poorly on the president and his upbringing.
It’s much worse when Museveni tries to trivialize the loss of a loved at a time when the bereaved are trying to come to terms with it; more so when the orders to kill came from him and were carried out by the same people (CMI, ISO, and SFC) whom he later congratulates publicly for a job well-done.
In most Ugandan cultures, such insensitive behaviour towards the bereaved is frowned upon and is taken as adding salt to the wound, something that is akin to dancing on the graves of the departed loved one.
On Monday October 1 President Museveni mocked Afande Mohammad Kirumira’s family by showering public praise on his notorious security agencies, particularly the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence CMI), that Kirumira had reported to have been “trailing me from one place to another” due to his vow to transform himself into the “messiah” who would “expose” and rally Ugandans against what he called Museveni’s “mafia state.”
Since he seems to believe he is dealing with infantile children, here’s what Museveni had to say, “I am sure I am speaking on behalf of many of you when I congratulate the CMI squads which arrested a number of suspects in the killing of ASP Kirumira on Friday night,” Museveni said, adding that he “urged any member of the public with information about the group [of killers] to avail it to the police.”
Now imagine you are Kirumira’s widow; his son or daughter; father or mother. You read that the President has publicly commended the work of the killers of your loved one, while claiming that they have resolved his murder many suspect they, in fact, had a hand in. Thoughts begin to form.
You recall that this is the same man who showed up on the crime scene of your loved one, not to rescue him, to confuse the public that he doesn’t know who the killers are when he is the one who sent them. Your mind races back to the scene of the murder, when the same person whisked away the only eye-witness to the crime, the only person who could identify the killers.
Yet, the mind grasps that he is now celebrating the supposed investigatory prowess of his partners in crime, and is doing so publicly.
Nothing makes sense anymore. You start questioning yourself. Was it the words I said at the burial that angered him so much that he feels compelled to add insult to injury. Those words, “Museveni knows who is killing our husbands. Whatever is happening, Museveni is aware. Why can’t Museveni stop this? Today they killed my husband, tomorrow they will kill another woman’s husband.”
Part of you wishes it could retract those words. But you recall that the truth is the sword upon which your loved one fell. You recognise that the truth is what the departed loved one would want you to continue saying in order to “expose the mafia” to all Ugandans. Everyone is a messiah, you are inspired!
Museveni’s words won’t go away. You know he doesn’t mean it when he urges the public to provide information about your loved one’s killers to the police. Not after he thanked them so publicly. You know that the person with the information that could help the police is Museveni himself. He was first on the crime scene; he took the eyewitness who could help identify the real killers. Who, but Museveni, knows Kirumira’s killers? You silently wonder.
Museveni thinks you are stupid. But you know you are not. So, you notice the pattern in the murder of Muslims in Kampala, of lawyer Joan Kagezi, of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, of MP Ibrahim Abiriga, and of course, in the elimination of your own loved one. A high profile person is mercilessly murdered; the suspected killers are praised for efforts to apprehend the killers. The mind won’t stop racing.
You recall that after Kaweesi was assassinated President Museveni instructed the then police boss, Gen. Kale Kayihura, to blame the killing on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), say that the suspects had been rounded up and were to appear before court.
Shortly after, Kayihura was removed from his position, arrested, remanded at the court martial in Makindye, and charged with the same murder case!
You feel for the innocent people who were rounded up then, as now, in the name of ADF and sacrificed to conceal the real killers.
Your mind tells you that those who are framed with guns planted on them, arrested and tortured in CMI chambers, are the “lucky ones” who have escaped assassination. You are able to surmise that as Museveni has become weakened, the paranoia has escalated in the sense that he no longer has the patience to wait for elections in order to begin neutralizing his perceived enemies, which has raised the stakes and introduced assassination as a viable weapon against his political adversaries.
You notice the pattern where those who care about Uganda, want to do the right thing, and have resisted “the mafia state” are targets for physical elimination. You also notice the contrary: those eager to destroy the country as long as they serve Museveni’s interests in the process are rewarded.
The more things get clearer, the darker it gets. It occurs to you that Museveni has turned Uganda upside down; he is prepared to reward anyone who sees this upside down reality as normal and ready to punish in the most brutal manner anyone who says otherwise.
But there is always a silver lining in the darkest of clouds. You are sure that Ugandans have finally come to realise who the real Museveni is, how he has always been a killer who had managed to conceal this character until he couldn’t – due to mounting threats to his power.
Your mind turns to an iconic song for hope and escape. It’s Bob (Marley), the prophet. “You can fool some people sometimes. But you can’t fool all the people all the time.” In other words, Museveni is finally exposed and so are those who do his dirty work and get praised for it. They too will be exposed night dancers they are. Banange tusitukile Abasezi!
This article was originally published by “The watchman” blog